Date of Award
Doctor of Education
John T. Lovell
Robert K. Roney, John R. Ray, Vey M. Nordquist
The purpose of this study was to provide a data base for making pertinent decisions concerning future directions for teacher evaluation in the State of Tennessee. The study specifically compared perceptions and attitudes of administrators toward evaluation purposes, implementation, methodology, degree of importance, and results of implementation. Data were categorized on the basis of administrative position, school level, size of school system, and years of experience.
A survey questionnaire was developed by the researcher and mailed to a random sample of superintendents, supervisors, and principals in Tennessee. Data were reported by percent of relative frequency of responses and cross tabulations were compared using the chi square statistic.
The major findings of the study were as follows:
1. The two most important purposes of teacher evaluation were improvement of instruction and increase in job performance.
2. Principals were perceived by administrators as the person most involved in teacher evaluation.
3. Teacher checklists were the most popular method of teacher evaluation. Evaluation by objectives and· setting job targets were used by 50 percent of the respondents. Classroom observations by the principal (92 percent) and supervisor (65 percent) were acceptable and desirable methods of teacher evaluation. Pre-observation conferences and post-observation conferences by principals and supervisors were acceptable and desirable methods of teacher evaluation. Student test data and competency tests for teachers were not used to a high degree by school systems and were considered an undesirable method of teacher evaluation.
4. Teacher evaluation ranked fifth in importance of eight functions of a principal.
5. Administrators indicated that an average of three hours was spent in a teacher's evaluation in one year's time; whereas, six hours should be spent per teacher each year for evaluation. Teachers are observed four times per year, but should be observed five times during an evaluation year. The desired and actual length of classroom observations was 30 minutes.
6. Due process is being followed relative to reviewing evaluation documents, the right to make written comments, receiving a copy of the evaluation, and being informed of the evaluation appeal process.
7. The greatest number of significant differences in perceptions and attitudes toward teacher evaluation existed when data were analyzed by size of school system rather than system level, position, or years of experience.
8. The overall evaluation process was rated by administrators in Tennessee as good (42 percent), fair (48 percent), and poor (9 percent).
Based on the survey of the literature and the data gathered and analyzed in this study the following conclusions were reached:
1. There was general agreement regarding purposes, methodology, degree of importance, involvement, and results of implementation of teacher evaluation among superintendents, supervisors, and principals.
2. The evaluation system in Tennessee appears to be a result of a combination of factors including low priority placed on evaluation by administrators, lack of skills of effective evaluation procedures, and inadequate amount of time devoted to the evaluation process.
3. Teacher checklists are most appropriate in the teacher selection process and lend themselves to the personnel purposes of evaluation. A discrepancy exists between the methods used to evaluate teachers and the most important purposes of teacher evaluation.
4. Administrators want to maintain exclusive control of the evaluation process, rather than allow participation from teachers in the data collection process.
5. The reason for the lack of support for the use of test data is the lack of acceptance of testing techniques if used alone as the basis for teacher evaluation.
6. In order for the 1974 regulation to be effective it will require leadership by the State Department in the development of evaluation methodology, evaluation skills, and improved attitudes toward evaluation purposes.
Miller, Patricia Hayes, "A Survey of the Design and Implementation of Teacher Evaluation Systems in Tennessee Public Schools. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 1980.